You have got to hand it to Dave Wyndorf, lead vocalist with Monster Magnet. For a band so supposedly averse to work, with a central stoner aesthetic, he doesn’t half put the work in. The band’s latest release, “Mastermind”, their eighth album and counting, sees them deliver another mighty slab of stonking tunes, full of all the fun you’ve come to expect and a whole pile of fun that you perhaps haven’t.
‘Hallucination Bomb’ kicks off proceedings with a riff so dirty and sludgy you want to send it for a well deserved bath. ‘Welcome to the Grand Adventure’ sings Dave and there, almost immediately, is that sense of psychedelic wonderment that only Monster Magnet can pull off. Some beguiling aural treats in store for us, Dave? You’re not wrong. ‘Hallucination Bomb’ could have come straight off the now legendary “Dopes to Infinity” (yeah, that good). There’s swirling guitars, cinemascope-like production and a monster- pun intended- riff. Lovely stuff.
‘Bored with Sorcery’ is a more straight-ahead, no-nonsense, biker boogie but still plenty of sleazy fun. ‘Gods and Punks’ is destined to become a live classic, with an infectious riff and a chorus catchier than a bad dose of the Novo virus. It’s a stoner classic.
‘Mastermind’ has more riffs than your local air guitar competition and will have your turning up your stereo or laptop speakers to get the full force of its pounding: it makes an awfully good racket.
‘100 Million Miles’ is what Queens of the Stone Age would sound like if Josh Homme had remembered that, yes, actually, you do need to write tunes. Its space rock par excellence. ‘Time Machine’ – another stand out -takes the pace down with a smoky vocal backed by an insistent guitar part that gets under your skin like osmosis tattoos. ‘Perish in Fire’ might have Iggy Pop calling his legal team if it weren’t for the fact that the Stooges‘ influences are done with such love and affection, I can see the old legend prancing around his apartment with undisguised glee.
I wasn’t expecting a great deal from this record, if I’m being honest, so to hear it so full of life, creativity, energy and heavy metal chutzpah is a very welcome thing indeed. A lot of the stoner attention has undoubtedly gone on the reformed Kyuss but you wont go far wrong with your hard earned cash if you were to invest it here. Monster Magnet are not the most subtle band on the planet, but sometimes you don’t want subtlety. Sometimes what you want and what you need is a no messing about, peel your face off rock record. And, that, my friends, is exactly what Wyndorf and co have delivered us. Bless ’em.